Mad Butcher to list on stock exchange

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 07:12 21/12/2012
Butch
MAD BUTCHER: Founder Sir Peter Leitch.

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The original Mad Butcher Sir Peter Leitch doesn’t know anything about the sharemarket, but he’s happy that mum and dad investors could soon be able to buy a share of his once-humble butchery chain.

NZX-listed shell company Veritas says it has signed an agreement to buy The Mad Butcher for $40 million in what will end up being a "back-door" sharemarket listing when Veritas undertakes a public capital raising in March next year. 

"Veritas has been looking for acquisition opportunities throughout 2012. Having looked at a number of businesses, the Mad Butcher is a stand out, and we are delighted to bring this company to the market," Veritas chairman Mark Darrow said. 

Under the terms of the deal, Veritas will acquire the Mad Butcher franchisor business for $40m from owner Michael Morton - $20m in cash and $20m in Veritas shares.

Morton bought the company from Leitch, who is his father-in-law, in 2007.

Leitch said he had been informed a deal might be imminent but was "not a financial guy" and was only employed as a brand ambassador for the company these days.

"It’s great to know that the little business I started has grown to a point where mums and dads can invest in it," Leitch said.

After the sale Morton’s stake in Veritas will be the largest of any shareholder between 40-50 per cent and he will remain as the CEO of the Mad Butcher business, as well as become a director of Veritas.

He said the new capital and board experience, including Darrow, Stefan Preston, Phil Newland and Tim Cook, would be beneficial to an expansion of the Mad Butcher business throughout New Zealand and possibly across the Tasman.

Veritas said funding arrangements for the purchase were in place. 

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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